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12/17/2007
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Toshiba To Ship First Laptop With Rewritable HD DVD Drive

The PCs, which come standard with a TV tuner, can function as a small all-in-one TV, DVR, and computer.

Toshiba on Monday said it would release in Japan this week the first notebook with a rewritable HD DVD optical drive, making it possible to transfer recorded TV shows or video taken with a high-definition camera onto a DVD for archiving.

The Qosmio Series 2 is available with either a 17- or 15.4-inch screen, with resolutions of 1920 by 1200 pixels or 1280 by 800 pixels, respectively. Both are available with up to 400-Gbyte hard drives and come standard with 2 Gbytes of memory and TV tuners. The larger machine is powered by a 2.2-GHz Core 2 Duo T7500 processor, while the other uses a 2-GHz Core 2 Duo T7250 chip.

The laptops are not light. The 17-inch model weighs 10.6 pounds, and the smaller version 7.7 pounds. The weight suggests that the laptops are made less to lug around than to act as an all-in-one TV/computer in a small Japanese apartment. Battery life is up to 3.2 hours, and both machines ship with Microsoft's Windows Vista Home Premium.

Toshiba, which plans to release the notebooks Friday, said the new products are capable of receiving two TV channels simultaneously, enabling people to watch one show while recording the other.

The laptops support the HD Rec extension, which enables the recording of HD DVD content to a standard DVD. While the disks are less expensive than blank high-definition disks, the amount of recording time is much less.

The 17-inch model, called the Qosmio G40/97E, is expected to sell for about $3,500, while the 15.4-inch version, called the F40/88EBL, will be priced at about $2,600.

HD DVD, supported by Microsoft and Toshiba, competes with Blu-ray, a format whose major supporters include Sony. The latter company ships a Blu-ray disc player in the PlayStation 3 video game console.

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